Dreadfully Wicked Robots

Combat Robotics Team

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Moto '15 Event Report

Posted by Jeremy Campbell on February 23, 2015 at 9:20 AM

Another excellent Motorama Robot Conflict event hosted by NERC is over. As always, this event is one of the biggest and best in the nation! 120 robots from 150 grams thru 30lbs competed at the Harrisburg, PA Farm Show Complex in an intense 3-day tournament. We competed with 150g Iitsy Bitsy Spider and 3lb Traumatizer.

Sean and I arrived early Friday morning at the PA Farm Show. Unfortunately my parents did not attend this year because my mother Trish was very sick the week leading up to Motorama - and Motorama is not the place you want to be when you're not feeling well! After getting our pit area set up, Sean and I turned our attention to helping the NERC guys get the arenas unloaded from their trailers and assembled. I must say, I have NEVER seen so many people jump in and help out at an event. Its great to be a part of a group of people who are willing to volunteer themselves in any way to help each other out. Within a few hours, the arenas were unloaded, assembled, and it was time for some robot fighting!

Itsy Bitsy Spider:

IBS drew the defending champion Demise in it's first match. This was a one-hit KO for Demise, as IBS was tossed upside down in a position where I could not show controlled translational movement. Demise had the option to come in for the attack and possibly re-invert IBS, but instead took the option of the TKO.

IBS's 2nd fight (after some modifications so I could drive upside down with control) was against the little vicious drum of Humming Bird. Humming Bird featured some strong magnets that held the robot to the floor (which is steel in Motorama's fairy/ant arena). Consequently, IBS was unable to get a single hit on Humming Bird because I could not feed him up our wedge and into the blade. Humming Bird took the match on an easy judge's decision.

IBS was eliminated at 0-2 with a one hit TKO from the defending champ and a frustrating match against a very well engineered drumbot. It was a disappointing performance, but we had some fun, and learned some things that we will remember for future designs and strategy!


Traumatizer was the first fight of the day on Saturday to kick off Motorama's big-bot competition. There were something like 40 beetleweights in the bracket and Traumatizer drew a new vertical spinner called Project Darkness. PD is a very well machined and well-driven robot that landed a shot to Traumatizer's blade pulley early in the fight, causing the weapon belt to slip off the pulley and render Traumatizer's blade useless the rest of the match. A few shots by PD caused some more damage to Traumatizer, but I was not going to tap out! The match went a full 3 minutes to the judges, and an easy decision was given to PD.

Traumatizer fell to the losers bracket where it would face it's long-time nemesis Weta, the inspiration of kitbots like Mondo Bizarro, Play N Krazy, and Devastating Moment (all of which have fought Traumatizer at least once)! This fight with Weta was really fun! It was truly a momentum game. Traumatizer had the early advantage, tossing and flipping Weta a few times and getting some hits to the side of Weta's frame. About halfway thru the fight, Weta and Traumatizer seemed to go into a "feeling out mode" where both robots spent what seemed like an entire minute without contact, as we both strategically tried to line the other one up for a big hit. Near the end of the fight, Weta got that magic shot which sheared off Traumatizer's right side wheel. Traumatizer's blade belt was also cut, and an easy judges decision went to Weta.

So we finished 0-4... didn't win a single fight... but had an AWESOME time at Motorama 2015. That's what I love about this sport - win or lose, you can come to an event and have a great time with great people. As always it was great to hang out with these cool people that I consider some of my best friends, even though we only see each other a few times per year.

Big thanks to the entire NERC crew, the Motorama folks for having us, and all the competitors for being the cool people you are. I really enjoyed being able to sit up in the stands and watch some of the 12lb and 30lb competition this year. From the crowd perspective, we REALLY put on a great show. It also gave me the itch to build something bigger. Perhaps we will skip the fairys/ants next year and focus on being competive in the big box :)


FI '14 Event Report

Posted by Jeremy Campbell on October 19, 2014 at 9:35 AM

We are back from NERC's Franklin Institute event. It was held again at the Franklin Institute science museum in Philadelphia on Oct 18, 2014. We competed with Upchuck and Traumatizer.


Traumatizer's 1st fight was against the weta kit Devastating Moment. It was a very good hard hitting match that saw both Traumatizer and Devastating Moment flying around the arena. Towards the end of the match, a bolt holding together the leads that power our drive motors came loose. This resulted in a complete loss of power to the drive system, and Traumatizer was counted out. Ooops! I usually loctite those bolts and/or use hotglue to keep them from coming apart but I must have forgotten... on to the loser bracket.


Traumatizer's 2nd fight was against a vertical spinner called 2 Taps. Traumatizer landed some hard hits early in the fight which disabled 2 Taps drive system. Another shot from Traumatizer took off a wheel of 2 Taps and the driver tapped out. A win for Traumatizer!


Traumatizer's 3rd fight was against another weta kit, the multi-time champion and #1 ranked Mondo Bizarro. What a great match... but sure to see the video. Lots of big hits, damage to both robots, and a hard hitting 3 minute slobber knocker that went to a judges decision. Mondo Bizarro was declared the winner by split judges decision and Traumatizer exited the tournament with a record of 1-2.


Upchuck fought in a round robin Hobbyweight bracket. Upchuck won it's first fight over the spinning melty-bot "Robot Ford's Meltdown" in a one-hit knockout. Upchuck then took a forfeit win over "Dumb Post Motorama Idea 12lb Edition" when builder Alex Horne from team Cookin With Gas couldn't get his robot in proper working order for the fight. With only 3 robots attending in the 12lb Hobbyweight class, Upchuck was awarded 1st Place and a 2-0 record. This is Upchuck's 2nd event win and our first time earning 1st place at Franklin Institute.


Thank you to everyone for all the congrats on Upchuck's win, and for making FI such a great event! Thank you to NERC and all the folks who do the 'behind the scenes' work that keeps combat robot events going. We hope to see everyone at Motorama 2015 in February at the PA Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg!

FI '13 Event Report

Posted by Jeremy Campbell on September 21, 2013 at 7:40 PM

We're back from Franklin Institute. What a fun event! The fights were intense and it was great to see all the cool people we only get to see a few times per year. We ended up going 2-4 overall in the brackets and had an awesome time. Big thanks to Ed, Beth, Jon, Rob, and all involved in making the event happen. It's a great venue, nice arena, and very well run.

Here's how we did:



Traumatizer went 1-2, and was again punished by the bracket gods. It's first match was against one of kitbot's weta-kits, Play'n Krazy. PK broke one of my drive motors early in the match and without both sides of drive, Traumatizer could only waddle around and hope to get a lucky break... but that didn't happen. One of the bolts that hold Traumatizer's weapon shaft broke and the blade was ejected in a big hit. I think the PK vs Traumatizer match was the first weapon vs weapon match of the day, so it really got the crowd excited. Brandon is a good sport and actually lent me some new bolts so I could get the blade back in the robot after the fight. Thanks Brandon!


Fight 2 was a short KO win over Bazinga, last year's FI Beetleweight champion.


Mondo Bizarro somehow ended up in the losers bracket and Traumatizer had the unfortunate luck of once again fighting a weta-kit in fight 3. I lost a drive motor late in the match, and the robot started having some electrical issues, shutting down for a few seconds and then restarting. The frame got skewed on one of the big hits and the weapon belt became too loose to spin up. I lost complete radio signal with about 13 seconds left and was counted out with 3 seconds left on the clock, giving the KO win to Mondo Bizarro. MB went on to the finals and lost to the beetle champ Grande Tambor. What a great competition, I don't think a single beetleweight robot went home in one piece this weekend, except Grande Tambor!



Upchuck (currently ranked #7 on BotRank) fought in a double elimination bracket with 2 other robots... the #9 ranked Flatline and #2 Fiasco. Off Topic: I really hope BotRank gets updated and doesn't go stagnant... In the past it's been a great resource and great tool for easily ranking combat robots across the world, but unfortunately the only events that have been added since Motorama 2012 is RoboGames and ComBotsCup. Yes, I do send Bot Blast results to their webmaster.


Back on topic... In fight 1 vs Flatline, Upchuck worked exactly as designed. I tossed Flatline several times and Chuck got 1 or 2 good box slams on me. I got Flatline stuck on the wall twice, but I was nice and freed him (after ramming him a few times just for show). It went to a judges decision, and Upchuck got the win. At the end of the fight, something stuck on Flatline and bot-wrangler-Ed had to catch it, so overall this was a really entertaining fight from start to finish.


Fight 2 was the winners bracket final against the big bar spinner Fiasco. Everyone, myself included, were taking (for fun) bets on how many hits this big spinner vs big spinner match would last! I was confident that if I could survive the first 2 hits, I could get em with the 3rd... but a 3rd never came. Both bots went flying after the first hit, but nothing on either robot was damaged. Then on the 2nd hit, Fiasco hit the bottom frame panel of Upchuck right on the sweet spot, taking off a bottom piece of armor and bending part of Upchuck's frame. Upchuck sat motionless in the corner and I had no drive movement, so I tapped out. It turns out a battery pack came unplugged.


Since Flatline and Upchuck each had 1 loss, we would have to fight each other again in fight 3 (the loser braket final) to see who got to fight Fisco in the championship match. The drum worked fine at the beginning of the fight, but it stopped around the halfway point. I could hear the motor spinning, but the weapon belt wasn't cut... hmmmm. After the fight we found out the bolts that hold the weapon pulley onto the drum sheared off on one of the big hits. With my drum not spinning, Chuck (driver of Flatline) did a great job controlling the match and easily won the fight by judge's decision. Flatline forced a 2nd final with Fiaso, but Fiasco won the rematch and the 12lb Championship.


Overall I'm happy with how we did. It was one of the first times I wasn't de-drummed at an event! Big thanks everyone who makes FI happen, especially NERC and the people at the FI for providing a really cool venue and state-of-the-art arena. We'll definitely be back next year! See everyone at Motorama 2014

Moto '13 Event Report

Posted by Jeremy Campbell on February 26, 2013 at 1:05 PM

We're back from NERC's 10th annual Motorama Robot Conflict Event presented as part of the Motorama Motorsports Show in Harrisburg, PA. As always, this event was outstanding and we had a great time. NERC has a beautiful 16 ft x 16 ft arena that holds up to Featherweight (30lb) combat. Because the event takes places at a huge motorsports show, there's always a big crowd of spectators watching. NERC's Motorama is definitely one of my favorite events I've been to! This was my 8th year in a row competing at Motorama... either as a member of Dreadfully Wicked ('08-'13) or Malicious Intent ('05-'06). We only took two robots and ended up finishing 4-4 overall. 

(NERC's 16'x16' arena at Motorama 2013)

Here's how we did...


Traumatizer went 3-2 in the 3lb beetles with losses to event champion Mondo Bizzaro in a hard hitting fight, and team Headbangers' other robot Bubs after Traumatizer KOed itself by driving full speed into the wall. It's wins were over El Destructo, Belligerent Battler, and Chobham 2.0. All of Traumatizer's matches were really exciting this year, be sure to check out the videos!


Upchuck was back with a much more solid frame, and the 5" diameter drumette. It went 1-2 in the wicked 12lb hobbies. Upchuck had rough bracket draws... facing two other drums in its first two matches. In the opening match against Nihilisitic Naysayer, Upchuck had a few destructive hits to Nihilistic's backside, causing some frame panels and wheels to go skyward, in an exciting 2nd fight of the show. The win came with tough news though since Upchuck would have to face another drum (the STILL undefeated Cataclysm) in the next match. After losing to Cataclysm in a 2-hit KO, Upchuck's weapon assembly became slightly skewed. In the loser bracket, we were laying some big hits, but ended up throwing the drum's belt and losing by judges decision to a solid and well-driven wedge named Steelheart.


Thanks again to the NERC crew for putting on another great event. Special thanks to the following: Zac for letting me borrow his jigsaw, Jamison for allowing me to use his charger, Kyle for lending us a battery, and Toni for lending Traumatizer a receiver right before Traumatizer's match against Toni's bot Belligerent Battler. The sportsmanship and showmanship was excellent at Motorama 2013 and having Roy Hellen announcing along with Jon Durand made for a constantly entertaining time. We'll will be back... and this year it looks like we will be attending Franklin Institute in September. We will probably take Traumatizer, Upchuck, and a new sportsman. See you there!

Moto '12 Event Report

Posted by Jeremy Campbell on February 20, 2012 at 10:15 AM

NERC put on another outstanding event at the Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg, PA. We competed with 150g Rebound, 3lb Traumatizer, and a brand new version of Upchuck (12lb) and had one heck of a great time despite not doing so well in the competition.


Rebound went 1-2, with its losses coming to Tracked Terror (the event winner) and Baby V (2nd place), so I didn't feel so bad about the losses. Fairyweight bots are become much more vicious, so Rebound will be retired to make way for a new 150g robot.


Traumatizer went 4-2, with one of its losses coming by forfeit due to a battery melt down just minutes before its fight with Didactic Duelist, and I already had used its one postponement for the day. Traumatizer's most impressive win was its first match, in which it nearly destroyed Revenge of Dr. Super Brain. Revenge of Dr. Super Brain amazingly fought its way back through the loser bracket and actually won the entire event, so I didn't feel too bad knowing that I had beaten the overall winner. Traumatizer was eliminated in a really awesome hard-hitting match with Ripto. I was bummed we lost a drive motor on one of the big hits with Ripto... I'm fairly confident we could have won it all.


Upchuck did well in its return at 2-2, but took a very bad beating from Fiasco in its final match. I may be able to salvage some of the frame, but much of the robot will have to be totally rebuilt again for Motorama 2013. We learned a few things from the loss, and it should allow us to make the frame stronger in the future. Upchuck's wins were a high flying one over War Drums, and a KO win over Oppenheimer.

Thanks to everyone involved with NERC for putting on such a great tournament. The fighting was intense, and most of the competitors are great people and even better friends. Thanks to anyone who I borrowed random parts, pieces, and tools from throughout the 3 days. See ya next year at Motorama 2k 13!

Moto '11 Event Report

Posted by Jeremy Campbell on February 27, 2011 at 10:00 AM

We're back from another exciting Motorama. We took 3 robots (Rebound, Traumatizer, and Infuriator), and we did the best we've ever done. I was really sick leading up to Motorama last year, so this year we really wanted to get back into the competitive spirit... and we certainly did.

150g Rebound worked flawlessly. It took a first round bye and 3 wins to get to the finals. In the finals it lost once to lolcat, but in the winner-take-all double elmination rematch, Rebound won by judges decision and was crowned Champion. It was Team Dreadfully Wicked's 3rd event win. At the top of its game, Rebound was retired to make way for a new 150g design.

Our beetleweights Traumatizer and Infuriator had 2 competely different weekends. Traumatizer did great, but Infuriator last only a few seconds in the tournament. It was destroyed in a short match with Devastating Moment and had to forfeit its second fight because it couldn't be repaired. Traumatizer won it's first fight over Warpz, but was sent to the loser bracket by event champion Mr. Croup. Traumatizer did get some revenge for Infuriator, by eliminating Devastating Moment from the losers bracket later that day. Traumatizer went on to the losers bracket semi-finals where it lost a hard hitting match with One Fierce Round House.

We will be back next year with a newer version of Upchuck! See you next year. Thanks to everyone who we borrowed random parts and pieces from throughout the weekend. Thanks to Ed, Beth, Al, Alan, Jon, and ALL the NERC people for putting on another great show at the PA Farm Show Complex.

Moto '10 Event Report

Posted by Jeremy Campbell on February 25, 2010 at 8:35 AM

We're back from another Motorama Robot Conflict presented by NERC. Unfortunately, I was very sick for this event and for some time leading up to it, so we were only able to attend with one robot, Traumatizer. We had a good time despite going 1-2 in the bracket.

Traumatizer's 1st fight was the 1st fight of Motorama 2010, the opening beetle fight against the wedge Creepy Crawler. Traumatizer won by judges decision, but then would have the misfortune of fighting back to back Team Rolling Thunder robots Weta- God of Ugly Things and Pure Dead Brilliant. The rivalry continues to grow... Traumatizer lost both fights, but we are determined to beat one of the kitbots someday.

Thank you to everyone for making Motorama awesome! Hopefully next year I'll be feeling better and we can come back more competitive than ever. It was relaxing to have only 1 robot, but it made the weekend drag on slowly... I'd rather be busy with 3 or 4 robots than bored with 1... time to start planning for next year!

Moto '09 Event Report

Posted by Jeremy Campbell on February 24, 2009 at 5:45 PM

Motorama 2009 presented by NERC was a blast as usual. We took 3 robot, 2 beetleweights (Aggravator and Traumatizer), and our 12lb Upchuck. We had a brutal weekend of draws in the beetles. We didn't place this year... but here's how the bots did:

Aggravator's 1st fight was against Misdirected Aggression, a mean midcutter robot. Aggravator's wedge was torn from the robot midway through the match, and a big hit by MA ripped the entire front plate of the robot off, causing Aggravator to tap out. It took several hours, but we repaired it only to find out we had to face One Fierce Lawn Boy. OFLB had its way with Aggravator and easily took the win by knockout. Aggravator went 0-2... it was destroyed and officially retired.

Traumatizer went to the losers bracket early... getting defending champion Yeti first, a KO win over SuperPointer, and then lost in a "questionable" judges decision to Pure Dead Brilliant. Traumatizer went 1-2, but the losing record was no indication of how well it did in it's 3 fights.

Upchuck did well against a tough field of hobbyweights. In its first match, we beat the drumbot "SPUN". That put us against Foobar, a wicked vertical spinner. Upchuck layed a lucky hit that KOed Foobar, and that put Upchuck once again against its arch nemesis, Surgical Strike. Surgical Strike again took Upchuck out easily, which put Upchuck in the losers bracket against team Jz's vertical spinner Deranged. Deranged KOed Upchuck in one of the fastest fights of the year. 2 of the robots Upchuck fought, Foobar and Surgical Strike, ended up being the finalists... so Upchuck didn't feel too bad rolling away with a 2-2 record.

Thanks again to the NERC crew and everyone at the event for making it fun. We enjoyed seeing everyone that we only get to see 2 or 3 times per year! See you all next year!

Moto '08 Event Report

Posted by Jeremy Campbell on February 21, 2008 at 3:15 PM

In February 2008 we competed again at NERC's Motorama Robot Conflict. This time we brought 4 robots... 150g Rebound, 1lb Concussion, 3lb Aggravator, and 12lb Upchuck. It was TOUGH keeping track of that many robots, even with 3 other people on my team helping me... but we managed to come home with two 2nd place finishes! Here's how the bots did:

Rebound: went 2-2 in the 150g class, good enough to tie for 2nd place. I actually beat the winner P150, but P150 went 3-1 with its only loss coming to Rebound. Rebounds 2 losses were to Robo-Sushi and Baby V.

Concussion went 1-2 in the 1lb antweights. The antweights seems particularly destructive this year. My first loss came to a wedge because I didn't place the power switch in a very safe place... oops. Concussion then had a really fun fight with team Slackers United's robot Always. After beating Always by KO, Concussion lost and was eliminated by decision to Ti Terror.

Aggravator did excellent... going 4-2 for 2nd place in the big 3lb beetle class. It's only losses came to the vertical spinner champion Yeti. Aggravator had wins over BE1, The Impenetrable, Creepy Crawler, and Pressure Point.

Upchuck had really tough draws... getting 2 undercutters to start. Fight 1 was a win over Visibility by judges decision after breaking Visibility's blade early in the match. Match 2 was against Surgical Strike, which at the time according to botrank.com was the #1 ranked 12lb robot in the world. Surgical Strike tore the drum out of Upchuck in a disgustingly destructive fight. We were able to put the robot back together to beat Redwood by KO, but then I drew a powerful ring-spinner named Ingor Eater of Souls. I tried to box rush him, because if he got the ring up to speed, I didn't like my chances. Luckilly I was able to flip him early and he tapped out before too much damage was done. That would pair me against team Rolling Thunder's other clone-bot Blunt Instrument in the losers bracket semi finals. This time the drum stayed on longer, but Blunt Instrument was able to dedrum Upchuck just a few minutes in.

We had a super time as always and will definitely be back! Thank you NERC for another fun event! Thanks to everyone who lent random parts, pieces, motors, batteries, and more. We'll be using the next 5 months to plan our own insectweight combat event, the Bot Blast.... Check back for details.

Pennbots '07 Event Report

Posted by Jeremy Campbell on October 3, 2007 at 3:30 PM

We decided to build a new 150g robot and wanted to see if Aggravator could continue its success, so we registered for PennBots' Fall 2007 event called "Fall Fling". It is put on by the Robotics Club of PA called PennBots. They have a nice 4'x8' arena with pits (constantly open) on each end of the arena. The fact that the pits are open ALL the time was a big advantage for Aggravator... I could simply push every robot into them. This event took place at Yellow Breeches school in Boiling Springs, PA. Here's how the bots did:

Rebound went 1-2 in its first ever event. We wanted to build a 150g robot to add to our fleet, so we went with a simple undercutter design. We used hacked Servos for drive and a small aluminum bar for a weapon. The battery was a 300mAh liPo. We learned a lot from its first tournament, and we are confident it will be a top contender with some more improvements.

Aggravator dominated the 3lb beetleweight class. It went a perfect 3-0 in the tournament, depositing every competitor into one of the instant-DQ pits. In the beetleweight rumble, Aggravator put all 3 of the other robots into the pits in less than 30 seconds. After 3 events of fine-tuning, we are ready to take Aggravator to Motorama in February. See you all there!

Thanks to the PennBots crew for putting on the event. We had a fun time and hope to attend another PennBots event some day.